easyJet to use big data to reduce delays
easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has today announced a five-year predictive maintenance partnership programme with Airbus to forecast aircraft technical faults before they occur. The technology relies on Airbus’ Skywise data platform which will allow easyJet’s engineers to intervene early and replace parts before the component’s failure, thereby preventing passengers from experiencing delays and cancellations.
The move is part of easyJet’s aim of eliminating delays caused by technical issues. These have come down from 10 per 1000 flights in 2010 to just over three per 1000 flights today on easyJet’s newest aircraft, and the airline’s long-term aim is to get to zero.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented:
“easyJet is leading the industry in using data and artificial intelligence to improve our efficiency as well as in other parts of the airline where its use can reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.
“Our investment in the Skywise platform can really make a tangible difference for thousands of passengers by harnessing the power of big data to reduce delays.
“It will transform the way that we maintain and operate our aircraft with the long term aim of eliminating delays due to technical faults.”
The new programme builds on the success of a trial of the platform. Initially, the focus was on just three specific technical issues on 85 aircraft in easyJet’s fleet. Skywise predicted 31 technical failures which enabled easyJet to remove components before a fault occurred. This meant that at least 31 flights – which would have carried more than 4,400 passengers - operated on schedule that would otherwise have been disrupted. Had the fault occurred at a remote airport the delay could have led to an overnight delay and knock on delays on other flights.
Developing from this prototype Skywise can now analyse data from other components on easyJet’s aircraft thanks to the installation of Airbus’ newly released flight operations and maintenance exchanger FOMAX – which can collect 60 times more data than existing systems. The new equipment will be fitted on easyJet’s fleet by Summer 2019. This will allow easyJet to recover each year around 800 gigabytes of data from up to 24,000 different parameters.
Tom Enders, Chief Executive of Airbus, commented: “Our Skywise trial with easyJet over the past three years has been tremendously successful, demonstrating significant gains in operational performance through predictive maintenance. We are delighted to further cement our collaboration by extending this trail-blazing technology easyJet’s entire A320 Family fleet.”
Airbus launched the Skywise aviation data platform at the 2017 Paris Air Show, in collaboration with Palantir Technologies – pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics. Skywise aims to become the single platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve their operational performance and business results and to support their own digital transformation.
easyJet operates Europe’s largest and the world’s fourth largest Airbus single-aisle fleet – currently operating 298 aircraft. easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all manufacturers' regulations, often exceeding them. The airline employs a highly skilled workforce of more than 200 engineering staff as well as outsourcing to external suppliers in many bases across its network.
Innovation is in easyJet’s DNA – from the airline’s launch more than 20 years ago when it changed the way people fly to the present day where easyJet leads the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational innovations to make travel more easy and affordable for passengers. In addition to predictive maintenance, easyJet is currently working on a range from innovations including the decarbonisation of aviation which includes the trialling of electric ground equipment, hybrid technology to supporting the development of all-electric planes.
For further information please contact the easyJet press office on 01582 525252